2015 has started with a freshness that was so vitally needed from the whole of Northampton Town Football Club. The rot was only partially stopped on Saturday with a draw but the fact that it came against a strong and much fancied Southend side and, perhaps more importantly, with a much improved performance meant that for the first weekend in what seems like months we could see some light at the end of the tunnel.
The Shrimpers are veterans at coming to Sixfields and nicking three points so when they took the lead following a Matt Duke clanger it was looking like more doom and gloom despite a positive first half that had seen new loan signings Brendan Maloney, Rickie Holmes and Jason Taylor bedding in very well. They all sounded like strong additions in their own way and the whole team felt a lot more balanced from the word go.
Credit to the side for having the spirit to bounce back – many teams on such a barren run of results would have folded but Town stepped up and one of the few stand out players of the season, Lawson D’Ath rose to nod in what could be the most crucial goal of Chris Wilder’s tenure since Ivan Toney set Dagenham alight in April last year.
So what next? It’s hard to fully explode with optimism but the performance and appreciation of it by the home support is key – if we can just get more of this type of result and move away slowly from the clutches of the bottom two then some of the bleak midwinter will be eased. Exeter away up next is a big test for version two of this season’s littered squad and to convince us all that those darker days are behind us will require more of the same.